Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa

Noel Whelan has suggested that Leeds United defender Gaetano Berardi may not want to remain at Elland Road past the summer.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the Swiss international will have rival Championship sides queuing up for a free transfer at the end of the season.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the Whites have put talks over a new contract on hold, with the 31-year-old’s current terms set to expire this summer.

Whelan admits the versatile defender holds his future in his own hands, suggesting he may want to move in a bid for more regular game time.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s also a man that can make that decision himself – he might not want to stay, he might want to play regular football.

“That’s the decision he’s got to make – a bit-part player with the first-team if they go up into the Premier League or full-time, week in, week out, be one of the main men at a very good, middling Championship side.

“There are going to be teams who would actually queue for him – he’s such a reliable character, always gives everything in the game, he’s a good role model.

“Yes, he’s got a bit of a temperament there but I would not want to take that out of him because that would not be the Berardi that we love.” 

Berardi has played 20 times this season, acting as backup when injury or suspension has struck Marcelo Bielsa’s men.

He has a total of 150 appearances under his belt at Elland Road and has scored just twice for the club.

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has reacted as the club plot a move to sign a near-ever present from the Premier League.